Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Canada Day in Zimbabwe

Hello from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, here are a few thoughts from the past week...

* I rented a car in South Africa and did some driving. Surprisingly it didn't take long for me to learn to drive on the left side. The stick on the left wasn't so bad either; just have to give the left hand some practice with it and all is well. The joke going around was you weren't comfortable driving on the left side until you accidentally pull into the wrong side of traffic. This is because until you are comfortable, you concentrate on driving on the left side.. once you are comfortable.. you let your guard down.. and poof... back on the right side again.

* I've been meeting so many people people out here... it's crazy... I'm trying to keep everyone's names and faces straight. Talking about travelling or discussing the finer details of international politics over some wine... just priceless. It is also very exhausting... but well worth it.

* I did a township tour in Cape Town. It was interesting, superficial but interesting. The people there seem so optimistic and hopeful. This is not to say they are not suffering or down in the dredges of life... but they believe that tomorrow will be a better day, it's so refreshing. They do not ask what the government can do for them, they do for themselves what they need. They start their own businesses selling sheep heads, corner fruit stands, trinkets for the tourists or giving a tour of your own room to the tourists; all to make a living.

* Zimbabwe is a mess. I've met a few locals asking for money or trying to trade stuff for cloth or food. One kid who walked with me for a bit in the end begged me for a pair of socks... I would've given him some if I had more then two pairs on me.... I walked into the local supermarket and the shelves were empty. Even with all the foreign currency I had on me, I couldn't buy what I wanted... I had dinner out last night.. as I was eating my food I felt guilty looking outside; some of those kids outside probably hadn't had a bite to eat all day. All those poor, starving African kids that your parents used to threaten you with if you didn't finish your food, were not an ocean away... they were right outside.

* Victoria Falls is just awesome. There is no other word: Awesome. The water is loud, the mists high. On the flight in you could see the flume of mist flying into the air at least 100km away. When you are by the falls, the mist being blown back up just pours down on you like a thunderstorm.

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